A recent story, published on CNN, shows magnesium and magnesium deficiency have finally nabbed the spotlight of the mainstream media.
CNN interviewed Dr. Danine Fruge, the Associate Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida. He says less than twenty-five percent of the U.S. population receives their daily need of magnesium.
Without magnesium, your heart would not beat. It regulates muscle and nerve function. Magnesium is involved in the production of DNA, protein and bone. It's an electrolyte that helps move electricity through your body. It has a role in blood glucose control as well as blood pressure regulation.
Yet, most people are not aware they are lacking in this crucial micronutrient. That's why magnesium has been called, "The Invisible Deficiency" by medical experts.
It's often hard to see the symptoms of magnesium deficiency because of the difficulty of testing for it. Also, magnesium deficiency is often a side effect of something more serious, such as an illness or alcoholism.
Side effects of low magnesium levels include: Leg cramps, numbness, seizures, foot pain, muscle twitches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.
If you run out of magnesium, your calcium and potassium levels may also become depleted, leading to further health problems. Other more severe side effects include personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms and coronary spasms. (Source: NIH)
Dr. Fruge pinpoints the biggest threat to magnesium levels: Soda, caffeine and alcohol. There are also a lot of medications that deplete magnesium levels.
The Health Benefits of Magnesium
1. Cardiovascular Health
A study out of Harvard published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a link between higher intakes of magnesium and a twenty-two percent risk reduction of ischemic heart disease and a thirty percent risk reduction of cardiovascular disease.
Another Harvard study found magnesium may reduce the risk of stroke by nine percent. A scientific paper published in Europe reported magnesium supplementation reduced blood pressure by four mmHG points systolic and three points diastolic.
2. Magnesium Reduces Inflammation Markers
"Adults who consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium are more likely to have elevated inflammation markers. Inflammation, in turn, has been associated with major health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Also, low magnesium appears to be a risk factor for osteoporosis." - Web MD
3. Magnesium is Used to Treat Constipation
That's why it's the active ingredient in most laxatives.
"Perhaps the area where magnesium could have the biggest impact is in the prevention of diabetes: Scientists have proven that magnesium levels are low in people with diabetes; people with higher magnesium levels do not develop diabetes; and that supplementing with magnesium appears to help reverse pre-diabetes." - The blog of Dr. OZ
Magnesium sulfate is often used to treat pre-eclampsia. (A potentially dangerous complication during pregnancy, characterized by high blood pressure.)
"Magnesium sulfate is a mineral that reduces seizure risks in women with preeclampsia." - Healthline
Doctors are looking at magnesium as a way to treat asthma.
"Magnesium seems to be beneficial in the treatment of moderate to severe asthma in children." - Canadian Family Physician
Note: The above is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice.
P.S. Magnesium is an important mineral in your body. It's involved in over three hundred biochemical reactions.
Every single cell in your body needs it and it's necessary for you to function at a high level.